The International Conference Center (ICC) in Durban where the COP 17 talks are taking place is located between a Nedbank office block and a mall. A location that effectively symbolizes what ultimately stands in the way of genuine environmental action: state-protected big business and the gratifying wonders of consumerism.
People marched on the ICC this past Friday to protest reports that developed nations have basically written the event off and are refusing to commit to any serious cuts in emissions until at least 2020. Former Bolivian ambassador to the United Nations, Pablo Solon, declared: “If this deal goes through, one third of the planet will be laid [to] waste.” He meant the Global South and Africa in particular. As Larry Summers, a former Obama-Clinton advisor, Harvard President and Wall Street stooge, once put it, “Africa is under-polluted!”